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« Five Things Writers Can Learn From Cats | Main | Love Story »


Loren Stephens

I've taken your personal essay class so many times, and I never tire of hearing your words of wisdom, Barbara. You are truly an inspiration, and like you I love the form, especially when I am staring at draft 2 of my novel in progress. For me my novel feels like life or death -- it means so much, whereas an essay is a quick trip to the dentist for a flossing. Hugs, Loren

Denise Emanuel Clemen

A wonderful post, Barbara. I wish I could take the Writer's Studio!
It makes me smile to think of writing a personal essay as a date. Sort of like serial monogamy. Done with one subject and on to the next........

Cheryl Wright

What a delightful post! I enjoyed reading it and reveling in how it resonates with me.


Thank you, everybody. These comments made my day.

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Nice post. This post is different from what I read on most blog. And it have so many valuable things to learn.
Thank you for your sharing!!!

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I did my essay on NLMG as well and you picked up on more of the imtarpont betrayals than I did. I can see now how some of these pieces fit together, especially Tommy's fit after the meeting with Miss Emily and Madame. There are definitely some examples in there I would like to use for my revision.


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R23 L27 S23 W21 but I was extremely nvoures and sometimes can't concentrate under pressure. I also ran out of time at reading section. I got 94. I am more than happy. Thank you for your help.


, Give up, I was clearly just a fimnegt of your imagination. When I muster the courage to tip-toe past my disgruntled detainee and write other slivers of writing book wisdom are lined-up ready to shame me from my place at the keyboard.So I decide to read other blogs for encouragement. But they're so gooood. And I'm not. Ugh. I fall into comparison-induced writer's coma and don't write.I get this post. I totally get this post. I long for brilliance and won't settle for less. I don't feel free like I did when I started. I just need to listen to the stories as they come into my head and write them down in my own words the ones I have right now.[Please don't hit word count...just give me a few more years and I promise I'll say more by writing less.]

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On My Bedside Table

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Recently Published Memoirs

Memoir for those who can't get enough

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Writing Resources

  • 10 Writing Mistakes
    Pat Holt, an editorial consultant and former editor, describes 10 common writing problems and how to fix them.
  • Amazon Shorts
    A collection of short, never before published, literary works (stories, novellas and essays) that can be downloaded for $0.49 apiece.
  • Amazon Shorts Needs Writers
    Amazon is looking for any previously unpublished short-form work (2,000 - 10,000 words, fiction or nonfiction).
  • Author Network
    An extensive index of writing resources.
  • Backstory
    Authors share how they got started writing and the stories behind the stories.
  • Creativity Portal
    An online creative "sanctuary" for artists and writers. Contains articles, projects, and resources to get your creative juices going.
  • Fresh Yarn
    Read this online salon devoted to personal essays.
  • Imagine Magazine
    "It's never too late to be what you might have been," said George Eliot. Imagine is devoted to helping you create the life you want to live.
  • Screenwriting Tips
    Emmy award-winning Stephen Cannell discusses discipline, choosing your story, characters and structure in this free online seminar.
  • Spoiled Ink
    Poets and writers post their work and get feedback from the rest of the Spoiled Ink writing community.
  • Wordcount
    Need inspiration? This ranking of over 80,000 words by frequency, produces sequences of words ("often seen school money") guaranteed to spark an idea.
  • Writing on the Run
    Filled with tips and exercises to get you writing.
  • Zinkville
    A community of writers and readers, featuring a literary e-zine and book reviews.